Sisal, with the botanical name of Agave Sisalana, is a plant species widely cultivated in many countries. It yields a strong fibre used in making various products. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘sisal hemp’, because for centuries hemp was a major source of fibre. Sisal is grown chemical-free near the Hup Kapong Royal Project Learning Centre (also known as Sa Ha Khon) just outside Cha-Am. Something like 100 Rai is in crop and harvested as needed for handicrafts production.
Products are made by housewives in the community commencing some 40 years ago. It’s a very labour intensive process with individual leaves being pulled through split bamboo until only the fine sisal fibre remains. After naturally drying the fibre, it is dyed into a range of glorious pastel colours then woven into unique and eye-catching products. The project was initiated by the King of Thailand, and is a good example of best practice in Thai community development.
Our host Khun Pen Tip is the Marketing Manager. Her customers are typically handicraft stores and markets throughout Thailand but also export oriented towards China and other Asian countries. She is also very welcoming to casual passers-by. Visitors are welcome to come and see the process with a wide range of very reasonably priced items on sale.
Admittedly the focus is primarily appealing to the ladies, including hand and shoulder bags. However wide brimmed hats, lightweight and very comfortable, come in all shapes and sizes are ideal for anyone venturing into the great outdoors. Beach goers, golfers or walkers of either gender will be sure to find a unique and fashionable addition to their summer millinery wardrobe!
Where: Just follow the main road to Hup Kapong heading west from Petchakisim Road only a few kilometres north of Cha- Am. Follow the main road for about 6 -7 kilometres, passing the main Royal Project entrance before the cooperative outlet.
Recommended To: Shoppers looking for a unique gift, souvenir or personal item which is hand crafted and a cultural experience with proceeds benefitting the local community. Also a handy source of products for retailers.
Phone: 032 593173, 032 471286